Thursday, 7 July 2016

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Interesting Facts about Varanasi

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We all know that Varanasi is one of the holiest cities of India for the Hindus. It is considered to be a place of pilgrimage for many who follow the Hindu religion. Apart from this, Varanasi is also celebrated as one of the top tourist destinations of India, which welcomes tourists not only from India, but from all over the world. The ghats are the life of Varanasi and the food here is something that one cannot afford to give a miss. 

Apart from these reasons, there are many more that make Varanasi a very intriguing and preferable tourist destination. The fact that you will come across plenty of hotels at Varanasi proves that it is a much frequented tourist destination. Here are a few interesting facts about this city, which are sure to develop more interest in it: 

1.     Varanasi is believed to be over 3000 years old and is one of the oldest living cities in the world. The remains found in places near Varanasi suggest that they are from 1080 BC! 

2.     Varanasi is often popularly referred to as Kashi, mostly by the Bengalees, which roughly translates into “the city of lights.”

3.     Varanasi was once a great centre of learning and cultural activities, and it is believed that the Ramcharitmanas was composed here by Tulsidas. 

4.     Just a few kilometres away from the city lies Sarnath, where it is believed that Buddha after attaining enlightenment had come and preached his first sermon. You can actually book a car from your resort at varanasi and head out to visit this place.

5.     It is believed that two rivers once flowed here- Varuna and Asi and their confluence resulted into the formation of this city, and hence, the name Varanasi. These two rivers still exist. While Asi has become a narrow stream, the Varuna still flows strong. 

6.     Myths and local legends suggest that Varanasi is so holy because it was once the abode of the Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. 

7.     Parshva was believed to be the 23rd of all the Jain Tirthankaras and he hailed from this city. 

8.     The highest number of Bengalis resides in Varanasi today, after Kolkata. You will come across a Bengali in every one shoulder alley of this city!

9.     When visiting Varanasi, one should always try out the narrow alleys on foot. It is a photographer and explorers’ delight! 

10.  We all know about the famous evening offering ritual or the Ganga Aarti that is performed at the Dashashwamedha Ghat. However, local legends and myths suggest that this is the place where Lord Bramha himself had performed the auspicious Ashwamedha sacrifice with ten horses and hence the name. Thus, it is also known as the Bramha Dwar. 

11.  It was in 1748 that the present Dashashwamedha Ghat that you see was built by Peshwa Balaji Bajirao. 

12.  Cremation ceremonies are performed at the Manikarnika Ghat. It is believed that the fire of burning never subsides at this ghat and whenever you do visit the city, you will always find a fire burning there! 

Makes the place sound more interesting, doesn’t it? So pack your bags and head out to Varanasi today!


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